Mornin’ to you moms out there.
I hope your Mother’s Day was all you’d hoped for. And then some.
I have a question for you this Monday morning. And I’m not asking out of curiosity… although I am a horribly inquisitive person.
I’m asking out of desperation. I need help. I’ve gotta up my game. Like now.
What makes your house hum?
What trick or strategy do you employ that is worth it’s weight in gold?
I’m not coming to you empty handed. I’ll share if you share.
Okay. Here goes…
I am not sure why it took me almost 20 years of parenting to come to this one, but it’s something we’ve only recently stumbled upon at our house. And man, once we hit on it *insert heavenly chorus here* how I wish we’d been doing this since the beginning of time.
Everyone knows the value of a good schedule to keep kiddos runnin’ regular. Probably like most of y’all do, we put our littlest five down at pretty much the same time every night (which feels like mid-afternoon now that the days are getting so long. but that’s another story.) Same pre-bedtime routine, same loveys snuggled in their beds, same kisses and prayers.
But what we’ve added recently is a scheduled get up time. Note, I didn’t say wake up time, because that’s completely out of the realm of our control. Thank goodness, because I’m afraid I just couldn’t handle that kind of power. ‘Nuf said.
Sooo, after studying our kids sleep routines and recognizing how many hours of sweet slumber they needed to be at their best every day, we set their bedtime accordingly. So that their wake up time would be one we would commit to upholding every morning. A wake up time which happens to be the exact time our bigger boys are walking out the door to catch the bus.
This all came about because I just could not handle all those little people in my tiny kitchen. At least, not before 8AM. All asking for food. Most wanting to be cuddled. All tired and crabby, just like me. And when one child in particular started getting up earlier and earlier (ultimately around the time I was waking up for my quiet time) I knew something had to change. So in an effort to keep my sanity, we have the kids wake up times staggered.
If you’re wondering how I sleep at night, being such a scheduling dictator, let me alleviate your fears. My kids have a crazy amount of things ‘to do’ in their rooms. The boys have a train table. And tracks and trains ad nauseum. The girls have their dollhouse and a bookcase full of books. And stuffed animals galore. As far as ‘things to do’, they’ve got the hook up.
This set time has actually resulted in a better night’s sleep for all. They wake up later because they know the routine. And they know they’re not allowed to jump out of bed at 6AM to run downstairs and zone out in front of cartoon network. Since we’ve been on our new schedule, they typically wake up about 7:30 or 7:45. And I come up to rouse the troops about 8:00.
An added benefit is that this schedule even holds true on weekends. *insert heavenly chorus again, with gusto.*
Admittedly, it did take a few weeks to get our plan solidly in place. We did have to take them back to their beds several times. And there were moments I wasn’t sure it was going to work. But one day the sun burst forth and I realized, it was 8:00AM. And they were all happily playing in their rooms.
This is something that works for us.
What works for you?